Football - Davis gets value for money

Crewe manager Steve Davis is convinced his business in the loan market can help the club emerge safely from the threat of relegation.

Chuks Aneke and Mesca were on the score-sheet as the Railwaymen heralded the New Year with back-to-back victories.

The loan duo shone alongside rejuvenated "bad boys" Anthony Grant and Brad Inman as Crewe called the shots en-route to their sixth win of the campaign.

While not enough to lift them out of League One's bottom four, the manner in which the success was achieved offers their fans genuine hope after months of misery.

Davis' men carved out enough chances to win two games and Carlisle were lucky to still be in the game at the turnaround after Aneke hit the woodwork and Inman spurned a chance of his own making when clean through.

Last year Australian Inman was one of several loan signings helping Crewe into mid-table security and booking a place in the Johnstone's Paints Trophy final.

This year the capture of Mesca and QPR striker Tom Hitchcock along with the ever-versatile Aneke could proved decisive in a battle against the drop.

"Mesca can be a bit frustrating at times and he can improve on his final ball. But he is young and works very hard and we have enjoyed having him on loan," said Davis.

"I brought in three or four on loan last season and the ones who I've brought in this year are beginning to make a difference.

"One or two of their loans are up so we'll have to see what happens there, but I'm certainly pleased with their contributions so far."

Aneke posed an early aerial threat when he greeted Mesca's delivery at the far post, only for his header to drift past the upright.

But it was his power in the air which almost provided Crewe with a 15th-minute lead as he rose the highest to meet Matt Tootle's cross, but his looping header was tipped on to the crossbar by Ben Amos.

Amoo always looked the most dangerous visitor and he crafted a lovely piece of skill from the right of the box which nearly put Carlisle in front at the start of the second-half. The winger's curling left-footed effort beat young Garratt all ends up, but bounced back off the inside of the post.

And Crewe made the most of their good fortune to forge in front in the 52nd minute with Aneke unleashing a finish from the right of a congested box to send the ball arcing over Amos into the far corner.

Then Davis' side were stepping up another gear when Inman broke clear to expose Carlisle's considerable deficiency on the right flank. The winger's cross deflected conveniently into the path of Mesca, who made no mistake with a close-range finish 11 minutes later.

Tom Lawrence reduced the arrears with a belting free kick which flew into the corner from 25 yards out with 14 minutes left.

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